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CodePink’s Medea Benjamin Released From Egyptian Jail After She Reports Abuse | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

CodePink’s Medea Benjamin Released From Egyptian Jail After She Reports Abuse

Medea Benjamin

Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin is surrounded by security as she shouts at President Obama during his speech on national security, May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Code Pink co-founder is apparently in Turkey today, after millions learned—via her tweets—that she had spent a day in a cold Egyptian jail pen.

Medea Benjamin claimed abuse at the hands of her captors, leading to a broken arm or other arm/shoulder injury.

She had managed nevertheless to tweet a photo of her jail quarters, even of the food served to the group of women there, who had moaned all night, distressed or ill. (See @MedeaBenjamin). Her final tweet last night: “Help. They broke my arm. Egypt police,”

Now comes word that she has been deported—to Turkey. CBS confirms the story in this dispatch:

Benjamin said she was detained upon arrival in Cairo, where she was meant to join a delegation and then travel to the Palestinian territory of Gaza for a women’s conference.

Her plea for help was apparently answered by the U.S. Embassy, which confirmed to CBS News’ Alex Ortiz that Benjamin had left the country after the embassy provided consular assistance.

CODEPINK tweeted that she has been deported to Turkey.

Egypt’s government has cracked down harshly in recent years on opposition members, arresting dozens of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Several international journalists have also been arrested and held on terror accusations for merely speaking to members of Morsi’s now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

However, CodePink takes issues with some of the early reports, including my own, that the US consular office provided aid. In a tweet to me this afternoon, they relate, “The claim that the US embassy helped is totally false; they didn’t answer her calls or visit her in distress.”

CodePink advises: “For any press inquires related to being forcibly detained & deported from Egypt, call CP press person Alli at 860 575 5692.” Here is their latest press release.

Earlier today they tweeted: “Though ’s in cell in Cairo airport, it’s nothing compared to every day life in . Read about trip: .”

And then: “Update: is in Istanbul, where she was deported to, headed to hospital to receive treatment for shoulder. Flying to US tonight.”

 

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